-Entries beginning with "Ang..."-
Angakok: Traditional Eskimo mediums, or shamans, who reportedly have the power to communicate with spirits or to raise the spirits of the dead. Native Eskimo beliefs hold that any misfortune at sea is caused by the ghosts of their ancestors and an angakok is often brought in to appease the spirits by communications and frequent offerings.
Angel: An immortal spiritual being which functions as an intermediary between the realm of men and that of the Divine. Angels are more powerful than humans and are believed to be composed of ethereal matter, thus allowing them to take on whichever physical form best suits their immediate needs. In Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other theologies an angel can be one who acts as a messenger, attendant or agent of G-d.
Angel Hair: A rare phenomenon that has so far defied explanation. It is made up of silken threads that rain down on to the earth, but reach out to touch it and it will almost certainly vanish before your eyes. It is a world wide phenomenon with the most regular occurrences from North America, New Zealand, Australia, and western Europe. There is no known proof for what causes this substance, or even what it is made up of. Speculations are that it has come from Spiders or another type of silk-spinning insect, and even UFO’s as it has often been associated with UFO sightings. Because of its sensitive nature, it has been difficult to collect, and to analyze as it is subject to contamination from car exhaust fumes, and even human contact, which could skew the chemical results. A fine, filmy substance observed falling from the sky, sometimes extensively. It has been explained as cobwebs from airborne spiders, but the strands of angel's hair may vary in length from a few inches to over a hundred feet, and often dissolve in contact with the ground. Possibly the earliest account of angel hair occurred in 1741 when it was reported that "flakes or rags about one inch broad and five or six inches long" fell on the towns of Bradly, Selborne, and Alresford in England. In 1881 Scientific American carried an account of huge falling spider webs (one as large as 60 feet, over Lake Michigan). Other falls have been reported over the years, and accounts were collected by Charles Fort, famous for his assemblage of accounts of anomalous natural events. In the 1950's angel hair became associated with UFOs. A famous case occurred in France in 1952 during which a local high school principal reported seeing a cylindrical-shaped UFO and a circular one. The flying objects left a film behind them, which floated to the earth and fell to the ground covering trees, telephone wires, and roofs of houses. When the material was picked up and rolled into a ball, it turned gelatinous and vanished. Occasional additional accounts have appeared in the literature over the years, though angel hair is by no means a common element of UFO reports. Analysis of angel hair has proved elusive as the material seems to dissolve very quickly.
Angel Magic: special spells that use a variety of different tools to invoke a physical appearance or manifestation of an angel. Some of these tools might include: incense, candles, books, knives and circles drawn upon the floor. However the component(s) may vary according to the type of spell being used. Incense is one of the more frequently used tools as there is a belief that the ethereal smoke is required as a substance in which the angel may make itself seen.
Angelolatry: nis a term used to describe the veneration or worship of angels
Angelology: is a term used to describe the study or science of angels.
Angelseaxisce Ealdriht: One of several Norse Pagan groups to emerge as Paganism has become established anew among people of Northern European descent residing in North America. Members venerate the deities that were popular in pre-Christian Scandinavia and Germany, referred to collectively as the Aesir and Vanir. They include Woden (or Odin), Ing Frea (Freyr), Tiw (Tyr), Frige (Frigg), and Thunor (Thor). Members value beliefs (or thoth) that build loyalty to the deities, one's ancestors, and fellow Heathen. The swearing of holy oaths and the making of sacred vows are key activities seen as building thoth. Members of Angelseaxisce Ealdriht also see themselves as very modern Pagans. They esteem the past and the values extolled in ancient Pagan society, and they seek to reestablish those values in a modern context. The basic building block of the Ealdriht is the maethel, a relatively small grouping of Pagans who live in close proximity to one another and who can gather regularly for services and fellowship. Each member of the Ealdriht is a member of only one maethel. Those individuals who live geographically distant from other members are assigned to a maethel until enough members are found who allow a functional maethal to be organized. When a person joins the Ealdriht, a maethel accepts him/her and assumes the responsibility for teaching the Heathen ways. Members with a special interest, be it constructing weapons, learning magic, or creating wine, may join with like-minded individuals in a guild. Guilds provide a place for advancement in the organization as they offer opportunities for the demonstration of knowledge and skills, or for service to the Ealdriht. Leadership of the Ealdriht is vested in the Witangemot, a council composed of the leader of all the maethels and officers elected by the body of members. Members are currently drawn from across North America, and a headquarters has been established in Missouri. More detailed information may be found at the group's headquarters at 202 E. Mulbury, Huntsville, MO 65259.
Anggitay: A creature with an upper body of a female human and of a horse from waist down. They were the Philippine counterpart to the Greek centauride, (female centaurs). They are also believed to be the female counterpart of Tikbalang. Sometimes, they are illustrated to have a single horn in the middle of their forehead just like a unicorn. They were usually said to be attracted to precious gemstones, and jewelry. It is believed to be that the Anggitay usually appears when it rains although the sky is clear. (See also: "Tikbalang")
Angurvadel: The sword, possessing magical properties, which was inherited by Frithjof, the hero of a thirteenth-century Icelandic saga. It had a golden hilt and shone like the Northern Lights. In times of peace, certain characters on its blade were dull and pale, but during a battle they became red.
Anima Mundi: (Latin: Anima = Soul + "mundi" = "World") The soul of the world, a pure ethereal spirit that some ancient philosophers said was diffused throughout all nature. Plato is considered to be the originator of this idea, but it is of more ancient origin and prevailed in the systems of certain eastern philosophers. The Stoics believed it to be the only vital force in the universe. Similar concepts have been held by hermetic philosophers like Paracelsus and have been incorporated in the philosophy of more modern philosophers like Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854).
Animal Mutilation: n : a term which refers to cases of animal corpses (usually cattle), which have been found with strange injuries. These injuries are often difficult to explain in terms of accident, predators and illness. Often the corpse has missing body parts (e.g. genitals), has been drained of blood and many injuries appear to have been carried out with surgical precision.
Animal Psi: n : an animal's ability to exhibit parapsychological phenomena or Psi. Animal Psi is also known as "Anspsi".
Animism: (1)Religious practices based on the belief that all living things and natural objects have their individual spiritual essence or "soul". (2)The belief that every object found in nature, whether living or non-living, has a spirit or life-force attached to it which is endowed with the same fundamental reasoning and volition of men. In essence, all of nature is endowed with a pure life essence which holds all things in a symbiotic relationship and a spiritual balance within the universe. This is a core belief in many magical philosophies and practices.
Ankh: n. [Egyptian 'n?, life.] A cross shaped like a T with a loop at the top, especially as used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life. The Egyptian symbol of life, perhaps the life which remains after death. It takes the form of a cross with a loop instead of an upper vertical arm. The origin of the symbol remains a mystery to Egyptologists, and no single hypothesis has been widely accepted. It is conjectured that it symbolizes the union of the male and female principles, the origins of life, and that like the American cross, it typifies the four winds, the rain-bringers and fertilizers. It is usually carried in the right hand by Egyptian divinities. This symbol of a cross with a handle is also known as "crux ansata".
Ankou: is a personification of death in Breton mythology. Much the same as the "Grim Reaper", "Samael" or the "Angel of Death" in other cultures and times. The "Ankuo" differs in that it isn't usually depicted as a divine entity but, the soul of the last person to die in a given year. This soul is ordered to stay on Earth and collect the souls of the ones that die in the following year. According to some legends the Ankou was the first child of Adam and Eve. In other, even more rare, versions have it that the Ankou is the first dead person of the year (though he is always depicted as adult, and male), charged with collecting the others before he can go to the afterlife.
Anneburg: A demon of the mines, in German folklore. On one occasion he killed with his breath 12 miners who were working in a silver mine. He was sometimes represented as a large goat, sometimes as a horse, with an immense neck and frightful eyes.
Announcing Dream: n : a dream that is believed to signal the rebirth of an individual.
Annwyn: The Celtic other-world. According to ancient belief, it might be located either on or under the earth or the sea, or might be a group of islands or a revolving castle surrounded by sea, and was variously known as "Land Over Sea," "Land Under Wave," or Caer Sidi (revolving castle). It was said to be a land of strange beauty and delight, with a magic caldron having miraculous powers. It is described in such works as the Book of Taliesin and the Mabinogion.
Anomalies -Deviation from the normal.
Anomaly: n., (pl.-lies. 1). Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule. 2). One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify: "Both men are anomalies: they have . . . likable personalities but each has made his reputation as a heavy" (David Pauly). 3). Astronomy. The angular deviation, as observed from the sun, of a planet from its perihelion.
Anomalistic Psychology: An area of psychology pioneered by Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in 1982 that deals with seemingly paranormal experiences. Term first used by Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones (1982) to indicate that part of psychology that investigates “anomalistic” psychological phenomena, that is, phenomena which have tended to be explained in terms of the paranormal, the supernatural, magic, or the occult; the term is also meant to include belief in UFOs, in astrology, and in such creatures as the Loch Ness Monster.
Anomalous Cognition: n : a form of information transfer by an unknown means and without sensorial stimuli. Some individuals are able to gain access to this information, but the process is not yet understood. The term “anomalous cognition” is also known as remote viewing, clairvoyance, but more generally replaces the term of ESP.
Anomalous Experience: n : is an umbrella term for types of strange or weird experiences which science does not yet fully understand or cannot yet explain.
Anomalous Peturbation: n : another term for psychokinesis.
Anomalous Phenomena: n : a seemingly paranormal or unusual phenomena that science cannot yet define or explain.
Anomalistics: Formerly known as Fortean phenomena; the study of unusual phenomena
Anomolous: Having the quality of an anomaly.
Anpiel: In ancient Hebrew mysticism, Anpiel is one of the angels believed by rabbis to be charged with the government of birds, for every known species was put under the protection of one or more angels.
ANPSI: (Animal + Psi) Term coined by J. B. Rhine to refer to psi ability in non-human animals. Psi faculty in animals. The term "Psi-trailing" is used to indicate a form of Anpsi in which a pet may trace its owner in a distant location it has not previously visited.
Anti-gravity: n: the supposed effect of reducing or canceling a gravitational field. It can also be an acceleration due to gravity.
Answerer: 1). One who answers 2). A magical sword belonging to the Irish Sea-God Lir. It was brought from the Celtic otherworld by Lugh, the Irish Sun-God, and was believed that it could pierce any armor.
Anthropgphagi: Creatures from English folklore with no heads and a mouth in their chests. Their diminutive brain was located in their groin, and their eyes on their shoulders. While they were made widely known by William Shakespeare in Merry Wives of Windsor (1602) and Othello (1605), they were not created by William Shakespeare, and indeed were mentioned as early as the 5th century BC in "the Histories" by Herodotus as Androphagi. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus, dubbed by Cicero "the father of history", wrote his famous work known as "The histories". In his fourth book he relates some almost incredible stories of cannibalism practised by some of the tribes inhabiting the region of the Euxine, which we call the Black Sea. The people Herodotus calls the Androphagoi, or man-eaters, were a branch of the Scythians, dressing like them but speaking their own language. One of the tribes, the Issedones, had a curious custom: "When a man's father dies all his relations bring cattle, and then having sacrificed them and cut up the flesh, they cut up also the dead parent of their host, and having mingled all the flesh together, they spread out a banquet; then having made bare and cleansed his head, they gild it and afterwards they treat it as a sacred image, performing grand annual sacrifices to it.
Antipathy: Early astrologers claimed that the dislike one feels for another person or thing is caused by the stars. Thus, two persons born under the same aspect will be mutually attracted and will love without knowing why. Others born under opposite conjunctions will feel an unreasoning hate for each other. But what is the explanation for the antipathy people sometimes have for the commonest things? Lamothe-Levayer could not bear to hear the sound of any musical instrument. Caesar could not hear the crowing of a cock without shuddering; Lord Bacon fell into despondency during the eclipse of the moon; Marie de Medicis could not bear to look on a rose, even in a painting, although she loved all other flowers. Cardinal Henry of Cardonne had the same antipathy toward the odor of roses; Marshal d'Albret became ill at dinner when a young wil boar or a suckling pig was served; Henry III of France could not remain in the same room with a cat; Marshal de Schomberg had the same weakness; Ladislas, king of Poland, was much disturbed at the sight of apples; Scaliger trembled at the sight of cress; Erasmus could not taste fish without having the fever; Tycho-Brahe felt his knees give way when he met a hare or a fox; the duke of Epernon fainted at the sight of a leveret; Cardan could not stomach eggs; Ariosto, baths; the son of Croesus, bread; Caesar of Lescalle, the sound of the vielle or violin. The causes of these antipathies might be found in childhood impressions. A lady who was very fond of pictures and engravings fainted when she found them in a book. She explained her terror thus: When she was a child her father had one day seen her turning over the leaves of the books in his library, in search of pictures. He had roughly taken the book from her hand, telling her in terrible tones that there were devils in these books who would strangle her if she dared touch them. Such threats may have lingering effects that cannot be overcome. Karl von Reichenbach (1788-1869) investigated human antipathies and their opposite, sympathies, as they relate to colors, metals, magnetic poles, right and left hand polarities, and heat and cold. He distinguished specific antipathies and sympathies that were characteristic of sensitives (mediumistic individuals) and related his findings to animal magnetism and mesmerism.
Antiphates: A shining black stone, used as an amulet in defending oneself against witchcraft.
Antracites: A stone, sparkling like fire and girdled with a white vein, supposed by Albertus Magnus to be the carbuncle. It was said to cure "imposthumes" (purulent swellings). If smeared with oil it loses its color but sparkles the more for being dipped in water.
Aonbarr: A horse belonging to Manaanan, son of the Irish Sea-God Lir. It was believed to possess magical gifts and could gallop on land or sea.
Aos sí: (Irish mythology) (Irish pronunciation: [iːs ˈʃiː], older form aes sídhe [eːs ˈʃiːə]) A supernatural race comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. This world is described in "The Book of Invasions" (recorded in the Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living. In the Irish language, aos sí means "people of the mounds" (the mounds are known in Irish as "the sídhe"). In Irish literature the people of the mounds are also referred to as the daoine sídhe ("deena shee"), and in Scottish Gaelic literature as the daoine sìth or daoine sìdh. They are said to be the ancestors, spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods. Some later English texts have referred to the aos sí as "the sídhe". While this is incorrect it has become a widespread usage in English. The Banshee or bean sídhe, which means "woman of the sídhe", has come to indicate any supernatural woman of Ireland who announce a coming death by wailing and keening. Her counterpart in Scottish mythology is the bean shìth (sometimes spelled bean-shìdh). Other varieties of aos sí and daoine sìth include the Scottish bean nighe – the washerwoman who is seen washing the bloody clothing or armour of the person who is doomed to die; the leanan sídhe – the "fairy lover"; the Cat Sìth – a fairy cat; and the Cù Sìth – fairy dog. The sluagh sídhe – "the fairy host" – is sometimes depicted in Irish and Scottish lore as a crowd of airborne spirits, perhaps the cursed, evil or restless dead. The siabhra (anglicized as "sheevra"), may be a type of these lesser spirits, prone to evil and mischief. However an Ulster folk song also uses "sheevra" simply to mean "spirit" or "fairy".
Apantomancy: A form of divination using articles at hand or things that present themselves by chance. The diviner works him/herself into a state of trance until an object or event is perceived and a divination worked out.
Apepi, Book of the Overthrowing of: An Egyptian work that forms a considerable portion of the funerary papyrus of Nesi-Amsu. It deals with the diurnal combat between Ra the Sun-God and Apepi the great serpent and personification of spiritual evil. Several chapters (notably 31, 33, and 35-39) are obviously borrowed from the Book of the Dead, or Papyrus of Ani. Its 15 chapters contain a great deal of repetition and details concerning various methods for the destruction of Apepi, including many magical directions. It stipulates that the name of Apepi must be written in green on a papyrus and then burnt. Wax figures of his attendant fiends were to be made, mutilated, and burnt, in the hope that, through the agency of sympathetic magic, their prototypes might be injured or destroyed. Another portion of the work details the creative process and describes how men and women were formed from the tears of the god Khepera. This portion is known as The Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra. The work is evidently very ancient, as is shown by the circumstance that many variant readings occur, and only one copy is known. The funeral papyrus in which it is contained was discovered at Thebes in 1860, purchased by the archaeologist A. H. Rhind, and sold to the trustees of the British Museum by David Bremner. The linen on which it is written is of very fine texture, measures 19 feet by 9 inches, and has been translated by Wallis Budge in Archaeologia (Vol. 52, Part 2).
Apis: (Egypt) The sacred bull of the ancient Egyptians. It was known to them as Hapi and was regarded as the incarnation of Osiris or of Ptah. It was believed that when Apis died, a new Apis appeared and had to be searched out; he would be recognizable by certain sacred marks upon his body, such as his color (mainly black) and a knot under his tongue. Apis is sometimes represented as a man with the head of a bull.
Apollyon: [From the Greek meaning "Destroyer"], In the Book of Revelation, name of the angel of the bottomless pit. Also, the destroying angel or prince of the underworld (Rev. 9:11), synonymous with Abaddon.
Apostolic Circle: A sectarian group of early American Spiritualists that claimed to be in communication (through the mediumship of Mrs. Benedict of Auburn) with the apostles and prophets of the Bible. The sect also believed in a second advent. James L. Scott, a Seventh Day Baptist minister of Brooklyn, joined the group in 1849. He delivered trance utterances in the name of St. John and edited, jointly with the Rev. Thomas Lake Harris, a periodical of the Apostolic Movement: Disclosures from the Interior and Superior Care for Mortals. Not long after, the partnership was dissolved, and in October 1851 the remaining members of the group settled at Mountain Cove, Fayette County, Virginia. Scott declared himself medium absolute. Owing to strife and dissension, the settlement was given up in February 1852. Scott went to New York, and as Thomas Lake Harris succeeded in arousing the interest of several wealthy men for the movements, the surrendered property was repurchased. A new era began in which Scott and Harris, the first the mouthpiece of St. John, the second of St. Paul, acted as "the chosen mediums" through which "the Lord would communicate to man on earth." Their house was called "the House of God," and Mountain Cove was "the Gate of Heaven." They proclaimed themselves to be the two witnesses named in Rev. 10 and claimed to possess the powers spoken of. In one of his prayers Harris said, "Oh Lord, thou knowest we do not wish to destroy man with fire from our mouths!" However, the two "perfect" prophets could not smother the growing discord against their autocratic rule, and soon the whole community dispersed.
Apotropiacs: Mundane or sacred items able to ward off revenants—such as garlic or holy water.
Apparition: An apparition, from Latin apparere (to appear), is in its literal sense merely an appearance—a sense perception of any kind, but as used in psychical research and parapsychology the word denotes an abnormal or paranormal appearance or perception, which cannot be explained by any mundane objective cause. Taken in this sense the word covers all visionary appearances, hallucinations, clairvoyance, and similar unusual perceptions. "Apparition" and "ghost" are frequently used as synonymous terms, though the former is, of course, of much wider significance. A ghost is a visual apparition of a deceased human being—the term implies that the ghost is the spirit of the person it represents. Apparitions of animals and even inanimate objects are also occasionally reported. All apparitions do not take the form of visual images; auditory and tactile false perceptions, although less common, are not unknown. For example, there is record of a house that was "haunted" with the perpetual odor of violets. The term is used somewhat incorrectly to describe the appearance of a discarnate personality. An experience usually visual but sometimes in other sense-modalities in which there appears to be present a person or animal (deceased or living) and even inanimate objects such as carriages and other things, who/which is in fact out of the sensory range of the experient; often associated with spontaneous extrasensory perception, for example, in connection with an agent who is dying or undergoing some other crisis (in which case, it is likely to be termed a "crisis apparition," or in connection with haunting (in which case, it is likely to be referred to in non-technical contexts as a "ghost")
01). Apparition of the Dead: The image of someone who is deceased.
02). Deathbed Apparition: Also called take-away apparition; ￼
believed that a deceased family member has come to escort a
gravely ill or generally unresponsive person to the afterlife.
03). Haunting Apparition: Also called continual apparition; Images that appear repeatedly and to various percipients in the same location.
04). Postmortem Apparition: This is an apparition of a deceased person that appears within twelve hours of death. If there is a longer timeframe, the image is called a delayed postmortem apparition.
05). Apparition of the Living: The image of someone who is not deceased. Similar to but, no the same as a “Reciprocal Apparition” as in this case, only the viewer is aware of the occurrence.
06). Bystander Apparition: This apparition is puzzling in that it appears to the wrong person or a complete stranger in order to let its presence be known to the person whom it should have
07). Crisis Apparition: This is the sudden appearance of a person who at that very moment is going through a crisis or has just died. Though it is rare, there have been instances of delayed
crisis apparitions where a person’s image appears 48 hours after crisis.
08). Delayed Crisis Apparition: Crisis apparitions that are seen more than 48 hours after death are put in to the category of "delayed" crisis apparitions.
09). Double: The image of a living person. It is different from astral projection because the person is unaware of what their image is doing at the time it appears. In Germany, this phenomenon is
labeled a doppelganger; in Norway it is called vardoger; in Greece it is called larva; in Wales it is called fye or waft; in England it is called fetch; in Tibet it is called delok; in Scotland it is called taslach.
10). Experimental Apparition: This is the intentional projection of ones image. Such experiences are considered a strong argument for out-of-body experiences.
11). Reciprocal Apparition: In this case both the apparition and the person that sees it are still alive and remember seeing each other. Someone will be so lonely, worried, or missing the other that they will appear to that person in the form of an apparition and both will remember it happening. They can also be called ghosts of the living. This is a good example of how powerful the human mind and will actually is. This is similar to but, not the same as an “Apparition of the Living” in that both the viewer and the viewed are aware of the occurrence.
Additional apparitions noted in parapsychology:
Premonitory Haunting: Premonitions of death sometimes appear as an apparition. The most common are so-called familial apparitions. Some old families may have a portent of impending disaster in the form of a phantom. For instance, corpse candles are mysterious balls of light that are viewed as harbingers of death for a family member when seen in family cemeteries.
Soulless Apparition: This is a seldom-used phrase that described the ghostly appearance of inanimate objects.
Apparitional Experience: Encountering a ghost.
Applied Psi: The term coined in the early 1980s by parapsychologist Jeff Mishlove, refers to the technological aspect of psychic phenomena as opposed to the purely scientific study of it. Assuming that psychic phenomena (telepathy, clairvoyance, psychometry, etc.) exists, one should be able not only to describe it and predict its behavior, but to learn to control it to some extent and use it in practical situations. The idea was announced in a new periodical, Applied Psi, the first issue of which appeared in 1982. Mishlove called for parapsychology to re-focus its attention, then almost exclusively oriented (in the face of skeptical critics) to the accumulation of proof that psychic phenomena existed, to study ways to develop psi application to business and daily life. Shortly thereafter, E. Douglas Dean issued a book-length study of his observations of business executives who used their psychic talents in making crucial (and successful) business decisions. If psi could be made operative, one could imagine application in almost every field of endeavor. Applied psi was an integral part of pre-scientific cultures. Practitioners, who went under a variety of names from witch to shaman, were called upon to predict the future, control the weather, heal the sick, and locate lost objects. While attempts at such uses of psi are still common in Spiritualist and New Age circles, their general application in society has been replaced by more successful scientific methods. Unbeknownst to most people at the time, during the Cold War the United States government had, as had the Soviet government earlier, initiated experiments in the use of remote viewing. Other experiments were carried out in a more or less controlled manner on the use of precognition to make money gambling or in the stock market. While the government experiments yielded some impressive results, ultimately, they were not reliable enough to use for spy operations. In like measure, the gambling and stock market results, which included some impressive successes, such as the ability to predict rising stocks demonstrated by psychic Bevy Jaegers, eventually leveled out. Possibly the most extensive possibility of the observation of psychic powers in a practical situation came in the field of crime detection. Through the 1980s and 1990s, a number of police departments have either invited or allowed the participation of a psychic in the attempt to gather clues in an otherwise dead-end case. The widely publicized work of Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset had placed this option before police departments around the world. While a few departments, in the wake of some apparent successes, such as the efforts of psychic Dorothy Allison, continue to use psychics, the practice remains controversial. Psychics are also employed by lawyers for use in the selection of jurists in important court cases. Thus, while the major observation of Dean—that successful executives often demonstrate an intuition that appears to be psychic rather than simply good judgment—may stand, the application of psi to practical situations have yet to yield the results hoped for by the exponents of applied psi in the early 1980s. Applied psi has also been called psionics, but has to be distinguished from the use of that term in radionics as initiated by John W. Campbell.
Apport: French for “to bring;” The arrival an object, animate or inanimate, that appears during a séance or a haunting and is accredited to spirits and occasionally poltergeists.
Aradia, Book of: The book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland (1899 and often reprinted) presented traditional witchcraft teachings from Italy, which Leland claimed he obtained from a Florentine fortune-teller and hereditary witch in the late nineteenth century. This book is clearly one of the inspirations of the modern witchcraft revival launched by Gerald B. Gardner, and it has furnished some materials for the contemporary witches' Book of Shadows, the ritual book used by modern witch covens.
Arael: One of the spirits that the ancient rabbis of the Talmud believed to be a princesa and governor over the "People of the Birds".
Arariel: An angel who, according to the rabbis of the Talmud, takes charge of the waters of the earth. Fishermen invoke him so that they may take large fish. Arariel has also traditionally been invoked as a cure for stupidity.
Ararita: According to occultist Éliphas Lévi, Ararita is "the verbum inenarrabile of the sages of the Alexandrian School," which "Hebrew Kabalists wrote Javeh and interpreted by the sound Ararita, thus expressing the triplicity of the secondary kabalistic principle, the dualism of the means and the equal unity of the first and final principle, as well as the alliance between the triad and the triad and the tetrad in a word composed of four letters, which form seven by means of a triple and double repetition."
Arbatel: A magical ritual published at Basle in 1575. The text is in Latin and appears to have been influenced by Paracelsus. It is of Christian, not Jewish, origin, and although the authorship is unknown, it is probably the work of an Italian. Only one of its nine volumes still exists: dealing with the institutions of magic, the work is entitled Isagoge, which means "essential or necessary instruction." The book introduces the ritual of the Olympic spirits who dwell in the air and among the stars and who govern the world. There are, we are told, 196 Olympic provinces in the universe: thus Aratron has 49; Bethor, 42; Phaleg 35; Och, 28; Hagith, 21; Ophiel, 14; and Phul, 7. Each of the Olympic spirits rules alternately for 490 years. They have natural sway over certain departments of the material world, but outside these departments they perform the same operations magically. Thus Och, the ruler of solar affairs, presides over the preparation of gold naturally in the soil. At the same time, he presides magically over the preparation of that metal by means of alchemy. The Arbatel states that the sources of occult wisdom are to be found in God, spiritual essences, and corporeal creatures, as well as in nature, but also in the apostate spirits and in the ministers of punishment in Hell and the elementary spirits. The secrets of all magic reside in these, but magicians are born, not made, although they are assisted by contemplation and the love of God. It is sufficient to describe the powers and offices of one of these spirits. Aratron governs those things that are ascribed astrologically to Saturn. He can convert any living thing into stone, can change coals into treasure, gives familiar spirits to men, and teaches alchemy, magic, medicine, and the secret of invisibility and long life. He should be invoked on a Saturday in the first hour of the day. The Arbatel was said to be one of the best authorities on spiritual essences and their powers and degrees.
Arcane: That which is hidden or secret; usually refers to rites associated with the mystery religions or secret societies.
Arcanum, Great: The great secret that was supposed to lie behind all alchemical and magical striving. "God and Nature, alike," wrote Éliphas Lévi, "have closed the Sanctuary of Transcendent Science … so that the revelation of the great magical secret is happily impossible." Elsewhere he states that it makes the magician "master of gold and light."
Archangel: n : in medieval angelology archangels were high ranking angels who belonged to the eighth of the nine ranks of the Celestial Hierachy. The word from Middle English and from Old French is 'archangele' and 'archangelus' from Late Latin. 'Arkhangelos' from Late Greek. Pseudo-Dionysis, a scholar who gave us the possibly one of the best known forms of the Celestial Hierachy, lists the following angels as being among the highest ranking: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel and Zadkiel. Although depending upon which scholar or listing is used variations and additions can occur. Some listings give mention to Raguel, Remiel, Sariel, and Raziel among others. However, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel are nearly always given the post.
Ardat-Lile: Ancient Semitic female spirit or demon who wed human beings and worked great harm in the dwellings of men.
Area Focusing: When the same area is the focus of poltergeist activity continuously.
Argentum, Potabile: A remedy prescribed by ancient alchemists and composed of sulphur, spirits of wine, and other ingredients. These practitioners gave the remedy for all types of ailments. Called a sovereign remedy, the name implies "silver," meaning that the preparation reflects the powers of the Moon (associated with silver), just as the Sun implies gold.
Argus: (Greek) A 100-eyed giant (also called Panoptes) who was assigned by the goddess Hear, wife of Zeus, to guard Io, of whom she was jealous. Zeus, who favored his mistress Io, changed her into a heifer to protect her from Hear. The god Hermes, dispatched by Zeus to rescue Io, slew Argus by lulling his eyes to sleep with music and then severing his head. In one version of the story, Argus subsequently became a peacock; in another, Hear transplanted his eyes onto the peacock's tail. Also known by the name Argus was the old dog of Odysseus, Greek leader during the Trojan War. When his master returned after 19 years, Argus recognized him and promptly died.
Arica: A psychophysical system developed by Oscar Ichazo and named after the town in Chile where Ichazo first trained members. The system includes meditation and exercises connected with vibrations, sounds, and movements to produce a state of enhanced consciousness called "Permanent 24." Arica is a body-mind system adapted from a variety of Eastern and Western mystical teachings of a Gurdjieff type. Teaching centers have been established in a number of American cities, with headquarters at the Arica Institute, 150 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011.
Ariel: One of the two spirits supposed to have attended John Beaumont, the seventeenth-century English writer on witchcraft.
Arignote: An early ghost story told by the ancient Greek writer Lucian (second century C.E.). The story relates that at Corinth, in the Cranaüs quarter, there was a certain house that no one would inhabit, because it was haunted by a specter. A man named Arignote, well versed in the lore of Egyptian magical books, shut himself in the house to pass the night and began to read peacefully in the court. Soon the specter made its appearance, and in order to frighten Arignote, it first took the form of a dog, then that of a bull, and finally that of a lion. But Arignote was not at all disturbed. He admonished the specter by a magic spell that he found in his books, and he commanded it to go to a corner of the court, where it disappeared. On the following day the spot to which the specter had retreated was dug up, and a skeleton was found. When it was properly buried, the ghost was not seen again. This anecdote is an adaptation of the adventure of Athenodorus, which Lucian had read in Pliny.
Arioch: (Hebrew meaning "fierce lion"). Demon of vengeance, according to some demonologists. Arioch differs from Alastor and occupies himself only with vengeance in particular cases where he is employed for that purpose.
Ariolists: Ancient diviners whose special occupation was called ariolatio because they accomplished their divination by means of altars. They consulted demons on their altars, stated Dangis; they observed whether the altar trembled or performed any marvel and predicted what the Devil inspired them with. François de la Tour Blanche maintained that these people ought to have been put to death as idolators. He based his opinion on Deuteronomy 18 and Revelation 21, which assert that idolators and liars shall be cast into the lake of fire and sulphur, which will be their second death.
Arithmancy: Divination by means of numbers (sometimes wrongly called Arithmomancy). The ancient Greeks examined the number and value of the letters in the names of two combatants and predicted that he whose name contained the most letters, or letters of the greatest value, would be the victor. Using this science, diviners foretold that Hector would be overcome by Achilles. The Chaldeans, who also practiced it, divided their alphabet into three parts, each composed of seven letters, which they attributed to the seven planets, in order to make predictions from them. The Platonists and the Pythagoreans were also strongly addicted to this method of divination, which is similar to certain aspects of the Jewish Kabala.
Armomancy: A method of divination effected by the inspection of the shoulders. The ancients judged by this means whether a victim was suitable for sacrifice to the gods.
Arphaxat: 1). A Persian sorcerer who was killed by a thunderbolt (according to Abdias of Babylon) as St. Simon and St. Jude were martyred. 2). In the account of the possession of the nuns of Loudun, there is also a demon known as Arphaxat, who took possession of the body of Louise de Pinterville.
Arithmancy: Alternatively 'Arithmomancy' and 'Arithomancy'. The term comes from the Greek 'arithmos' (number) and 'manteia' (divination), relating to forecasting future events by the use of numbers; esoterically it is concerned with the science of correspondences between gods, men and numbers, as taught by Pythagoras. The Caldeans also practiced this type of divination, as well as the Platonists and Pythagoreans. Arithmancy is also a part of the Jewish "Kabbalah".
Arrival Case: A situation where someone dreams or has a hunch they will meet someone and soon does.
Ars Notoria: Title of a work of magical invocations and prayers attributed to Solomon and therefore related to the celebrated Key of Solomon the King, one of the most famous grimoires, or book of ceremonial magic. Ars Notoria is known in the English translation of Robert Turner (Sloane Manuscript 3648, British Library, London), published by him in 1657.
Asal: Known as the King of the Golden Pillars in Irish Celtic mythology. He was the owner of seven swine, which might be killed and eaten every night, yet were found alive every morning.
Asanas: The physical positions, or postures, of hatha yoga. Many of these are named after living creatures, e.g., cow, peacock, locust, cobra, lion. Early yoga treatises state that there are 8.4 million asanas, of which 84 are the best and 32 the most useful for the health of mankind. Hatha yoga should properly be combined with spiritual development.
Asatru: The term Asatru (literally, being true to the Æsir or Germanic deities) is the most used term for the modern reconstructed forms of the magical polytheistic religions of the German and Scandinavian people that have appeared in Europe and North America since the 1960s. In North America, the first such group, and for many years the most prominent, was the Asatru Free Assembly. The assembly was founded in 1972 as the Viking Brotherhood by Stephen A. McNallen. Shortly after founding the new organization to give public expression to the belief that McNallen had slowly appropriated, he went into the army. The brotherhood became largely moribund, though he continued to publish the quarterly periodical, The Runestone. Returning to civilian life in 1976, McNallen worked on refining the idea of the brotherhood and soon changed its name to Asatru Free Assembly. The assembly rejected collective ideologies (especially fascism) and emphasized individualism, courage, integrity, and independence. A wide variety of belief and practice was allowed within the general framework of acknowledgment of the deities. The Asatru people also saw themselves as over against the Odinists, who emphasize a single deity rather than the whole of the deities. Celebrations were held to recognize the deities, such as Yule (December 22) and the summer solstice. Other holidays included March 28, Ragnar's Day, when the assembly remembered the sacking of Paris in 845 by the Viking Ragnar Lobrok. Local groups called Skeppslags, or ship's crews, consisted of 3 to 15 members. Also, interest groups were formed as guilds to develop skills in activities from sewing to brewing. The assembly reached a crisis in 1987, when McNallen felt unable to continue as the primary leader and disbanded the organization. In the meantime, a number of mostly small local Norse groups had arisen, some falling victim to racial ideologies that alienated them from the larger body of Neo-Pagans. Among his last productions was the publication of a book of Norse rituals. The fall of the Asatru Free Assembly also left a vacuum just as Norse Paganism appeared to be in a growth phase. Former members began to form new associations such as the Asatru Alliance and the Ring of Thoth. In 1992 McNallen returned to active leadership as an Asatru, founding the Asatru Folk Assembly and reissuing The Runestone.
Asbestos: A burnable material which is inextinguishable even by showers and storms, if once set on fire. The name derives from an ancient Greek term for a fabulous stone. Pagan peoples made use of it for lights in their temples. Plutarch records that the Vestal Virgins used perpetual lamp wicks, while Pausanias mentions a lamp with a wick that was not consumed, being made from a mineral fiber from Cyprus. Asbestos is of woolly texture and is sometimes called the Salamander's Feather. Leonardus stated: "Its fire is nourished by an inseparable unctuous humid flowing from its substance; therefore, being once kindled, it preserves a constant light without feeding it with any moisture."
Asema: (Surinamese Folklore) A blood-sucking sorcerer or witch in the South American country of Surinam. This tradition may be imported from Africa with the slaves. It is usually pictured as an elderly person during the day, which leaves its skin at night and flies off in the form that appears to be a blue ball of light. It uses this shape to feed from people's vital energy and/or blood. Popular forms of protection against the asema were garlic, eating herbs that would make one’s blood bitter, and scattering rice or sesame seeds outside one's door, which it had to pick up before it could enter. When the sesame seeds or rice grains are mixed with the nails of a ground owl, the asema is still compelled to count the seeds or grains, but each time it inadvertently picks up an owl's nail it lets go off all the seeds or grains it had counted and is forced to start over again.
Ash: There are many old superstitions of the wonderful influence of the ash tree. The old Christmas log was of ash wood, and its use was helpful to the future prosperity of the family. Venomous animals, it was said, would not take shelter under its branches. A carriage with its axles made of ash wood was believed to go faster than a carriage with its axles made of any other wood, and tools with handles made of this wood were supposed to enable a man to do more work than he could do with tools whose handles were not of ash. Hence the reason that ash wood is generally used for tool handles. It was upon ash branches that witches were enabled to ride through the air, and those who ate the red buds of the tree on St. John's Eve were rendered invulnerable to witches' influence. In speaking of the ash, reference was often to the mountain ash or rowan tree. The ash tree is regarded with awe in Celtic countries, especially Ireland. The ash may be any of the various trees of the genus Fraxinus, which usually grow quite tall and have close-grained wood; the mountain ash, rowan, or quicken tree, a smaller tree of the genus Sorbus aucuparia, is usually considered separately in the Celtic imagination. There are several recorded instances in Irish history in which people refused to cut an ash, even when wood was scarce, for fear of having their own cabins consumed with flame. The ash tree itself might be used in May Day (Beltaine) rites. Under the Old Irish word nin, the ash also gives its name to the letter N in the ogham alphabet. Together with the oak and thorn, the ash is part of a magical trilogy in fairy lore. Ash seedpods may be used in divination, and the wood has the power to ward off fairies, especially on the Isle of Man. In Gaelic Scotland children were given the astringent sap of the tree as a medicine and as a protection against witch-craft. Some famous ash trees were the Tree of Uisnech, the Bough of Dathí, and the Tree of Tortu. The French poet who used Breton sources, Marie de France (late 12th cent.), wrote a lai about an ash tree.
Ashi-magari (足まがり, lit. leg turner) (Japanese Folklore) A ghostly phenomenon from the folklore of Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku, Japan. Ashi-magari is a soft thing, like a kitten or a wad of cotton, which is felt wrapping itself around a person's leg at night, impeding the ability to walk. If they squeeze it tightly, the ashi-magari is said to feel something like the tail of an animal. While it is not generally visible, it is often believed to be a trick played by tanuki on night travellers.
Ashwathama: (Hindu Folklore) A surviver of the great war who was cursed to live as a leper for his crime of killing warriors whilst they slept. He is one of the favorite unresolved characters in Indian mythos.
Asiah: According to the Kabala, Asiah is the first of the three classes ornatural ranks around the spirits of men, who must advance from the lower to the higher.
Asipu: Priests of ancient Mesopotamia.
Asmodeus: Ancient Persian demon of lust and rage who originally appeared in ancient Jewish folklore as king of the demons and later as a mischievous sprite who was believed to cause strife between husband and wife. He is mentioned in the book of Tobit ca. 250 B.C.E., where he attempts to cause trouble between Tobias and his wife, Sarah. Jewish legends claim that Asmodeus was the result of a union between the woman Naamah and a fallen angel. Asmodeus was often represented in magical texts as having three heads—a man, a bull, and a ram, riding a dragon, and carrying a spear. He is mentioned in the book of Tobit ca. 250 B.C.E., where he attempts to cause trouble between Tobias and his wife, Sarah. Jewish legends claim that Asmodeus was the result of a union between the woman Naamah and a fallen angel. Directions for evoking this demon are contained in the well-known magical textbook The Magus; or, Celestial Intelligencer by Francis Barrett (1801).
Aspidomancy: A little-known form of divination practiced in the Indies. According to the seventeenth-century writer Pierre de Lancre, the diviner traces a circle, takes up his position seated on a buckler (shield), and mutters certain conjurations. He becomes entranced and falls into an ecstasy, from which he emerges to answer his client's queries with revelations from the devil.
Asport: French for “to send;” The disappearance of an object(s) that disappears and reappears elsewhere or not at all. It is accredited to spirits and occasionally poltergeists. (Dematerialization)
Assiah: (or 'Asiyah, also known as Olam Asiyah, ???? ???? in Hebrew, literally the World of Action) The last of the four spiritual worlds of the Kabbalah—Atziluth, Beri'ah, Yetzirah, 'Asiyah—based on the passage in Isaiah 43:7. According to the Maseket A?ilut, it is the region where the Ofanim rule and where they promote the hearing of prayers, support human endeavor, and combat evil. Their ruler is Sandalphon. According to the system of the later Palestinian Kabbalah, 'Asiyah is the lowest of the spiritual worlds containing the Ten Heavens and the whole system of mundane Creation. The light of the Sefirot emanates from these Ten Heavens, which are called the "Ten Sefirot of 'Asiyah"; and through them spirituality and piety are imparted to the realm of matter—the seat of the dark and impure powers. Representing purely material existence, it is known as the World of Action, the World of Effects or the World of Making. In western occultism it is associated with the Tarot card suit known as Pentacles (or Coins or Disks, the terminology varies according to the deck). The world of Yetzirah precedes it.
Astara: A hermetic occult fraternity founded in 1951 by Robert and Earlyne Chaney, both former Spiritualists. As a young medium, Robert Chaney had been active in the Spiritualist community in the Midwest in the 1930s and 1940s and was one of the founders of the Spiritualist Episcopal Church in 1941. He became somewhat alienated from Spiritualism after reading theosophical and hermetic literature and accepting some ideas, such as reincarnation, he discovered there. Reincarnation was still a very controversial idea in Spiritualism at the time. Meanwhile, Earlyne Chaney, who had been a clairvoyant since childhood, had held conversations with a spirit being who called himself Kut-Hu-Mi. She later discovered this being described in theosophical literature. Kut-Hu-Mi told Chaney that she had been selected for a special task—teaching the ancient wisdom to the people of the New Age. The Chaneys resigned from their church in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, moved to Los Angeles, and founded Astara. Astara's teachings are an eclectic body. They draw on Christianity, Spiritualism, Theosophy, yoga, and especially on the ancient Egyptian teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, who is believed to have organized the original mystery school from which all others ultimately derive. The Chaneys also have made themselves open to new insights from the world's religions and philosophies. From Hermes, Astara teaches that God is the only uncreated reality and that he has emanated his seven attributes and all that exists. Hermes taught the seven laws beginning with the magical law of correspondence ("As above, so below"). The law concisely states that any part of the world reflects the structure of the whole. Other laws deal with basic observations concerning motion, polarity, cycles, cause and effect, gender, and mind. The acceptance of these laws leads to a number of spiritual practices. Central to Astara is Lama Yoga, a method of mind expansion originally taught to Earlyne Chaney by the masters. The law of vibration has led to the practice of reciting "Om," the Sanskrit word believed to encompass the creative energy of the universe. Along with other yogic and meditative techniques, Astara recommends a natural food diet that leans toward vegetarianism. Astara is headquartered in a complex in Upland, California, where members congregate and regular Sunday services and a cycle of conferences and retreats are held throughout the year. Most members relate to Astara through a set of correspondence lessons, the Book of Life. The Book of Life lessons function as a guru to the student and replace any need for a personal teacher. Apart from the lessons, both Chaneys have written a number of books and shorter works. In 1988 there were approximately 18,000 students. Astara may be contacted at 800 W. Arrow Hwy., Box 5003, Upland, California 91785.
Astragalomancy: A system of divination involving casting small bones (each associated with particular interpretations), rather in the manner of throwing dice. Later developments in fact utilized dice in place of bones, the numbers being associated with letters, to form words which had a bearing on the questions put by the diviner. An associated preliminary ritual was sometimes used, involving writing a question on paper and passing it through the smoke of burning juniper wood
Astral Being: A type of suspected spiritual lifeforms. Astral being is a general term for beings found on planes of existence higher than the physical plane. An astral being need not hail from the astral plane. It may be a being from any of the other higher planes. Intelligence varies widly among the many forms of astral beings. The majority of astral beings exhibit low intelligence. Generally, the higher the plane a being comes from, the greater the intelligence. Size, as a rule, has little to do with ability when it comes to astral beings. In fact some of the most powerful beings a projector will come across appear as minuscule creatures.
Astral Body: An entity said to be an exact, quasi-physical replica or “double” of the individual physical body, which can separate itself from the physical body, either temporarily, as in dreaming or in the out-of-the-body experience, or permanently, at the moment of death. Also known as the “etheric” body. [From the Latin astralis, derived from astrum, “star,” derived from the Greek astron]
Astral Plane: A spiritual dimension or parallel universe comprised of spiritual energy.
Astral Projection: The alleged ability to separate the consciousness from the physical body. Reported most often when while undergoing crisis, extreme pain or anesthetized. The spirit is believed to be able to travel outside the body to either the astral plane or another location on this plane. Most detractors believe it is simply a dissociative process of the brain to protect the mind from stress. (See also: O.B.E.).
Astral Projection: Popular term for the ability to travel outside the physical body during sleep or trance, also known as etheric projection or out-of-the-body traveling. Astral projection involves the movement of the consciousness, often pictured as an astral body or double, some distance away from the physical body. There are numerous reports of this ability in popular psychic literature as well as that of psychic research. For example, the British scientist Dr. Robert Crookall collected hundreds of cases from individuals in all walks of life.
Astral Spirit: n : the word astral on its own means relating to, resembling or emanating from the stars. Astral spirits are those formerly thought to inhabit heavenly or celestial objects for example stars or planets. Astral spirits in the Middle Ages were represented as spirits of the dead, spirits that originated in fire and also as fallen angels.
Astral Travel: When the spirit travels outside the body to either the astral plane or another location on this plane. This is also referred to as an “Out of Body Experience”, or “O.B.E.”. (See also: Astral Projection).
Astroflash: An IBM computer for use in astrology, first set up in Paris in the Pan-Am Building in the Champs Elysées. It was programmed by French astrologer Andre Barbault and was said to cover nearly two billion possible planetary interpretations. Astroflash II, a similar computer, was temporarily installed at Grand Central Station, New York, in June 1969 and offered a 14-page horoscope in two minutes for $5.
Astrology: The divinatory practice involving the study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. Future events can be forecast by interpreting the movements and position of planets and stars against the celestial patterns of the "zodiac".
Astromancy: A form of divination by the reading of the astrological chart, has constituted the major use of astrology in centuries past. It assumes a deterministic worldview in which the stars indicate patterns into which individuals are locked and events are destined to occur. Criticism of astrology has largely been directed at astromancy, with religious scholars attacking the deterministic worldview and scientists attacking the accuracy of astrological predictions. Contemporary astrology, especially that based in psychology and growing out of the work of Dane Rudhyar, has rejected astromancy as a perspective beyond the ability of astrology. Modern astrologers believe that the horoscope shows planetary influences operating upon a person but the individual remains free to respond to those influences in a variety of ways. In like manner, some astrologers claim that they can predict heightened pressures operating on society but not specific events. Thus astrology can be of practical assistance in a counseling situation and usefully applied to understanding the stock market, but it cannot predict upcoming events in a person's life or relationships or the movement of specific stocks. Most contemporary textbooks carry at least a passing reference to astromancy, and rejection of it, as part of their introduction to the topic.
Asuras: (Asian) Demons who are sworn enemies of the Vedic gods.
Aswang: (Filipino Folklore) The aswang is one of the most common of Filipino monsters since there are so many different types of Aswang. In general, they are shape shifters who are human by day and then at night turn into a dog, a pig, a bat, cat, snake… the type of animal depends on the regional lore. They break into funeral homes and steal recent corpses. They are also known to enter homes to drink human blood and can turn people into aswang by tricking the human to bite them in return. The aswang are especially hungry for human fetus so some of the more superstitious stories include neighborhoods patrols set up in front of the home of a pregnant woman to protect her from wandering stray animals in case they are the aswang in disguise.
Atavism: n : this is the phenomena whereby after several generations of absence, a chance recombination of genes causes a certain characteristic in an organism. Sometimes called a throwback. It can also be the return of a trait or type of previous behaviour that has laid dormant for a period of time. It is also where a species or organism is born to its original ancestral state, whereby its genes are more similar to those in the distant past rather than those that are currently associated with that species. A reversion to an ancestral type of character.
Athame: A knife which is one of the primary tools employed by modern Wiccans (or Witches) in their rituals. It has a black handle and double-edged blade. The blade is never used for cutting and no attempt is made to keep it sharp, though often great care is taken to make it artistic. The athame is normally used to cast the circle at the beginning of rituals, thus establishing the magical space within which rituals are performed. It is also used for summoning and banishing the spirit entities who are called to be present as guardians of the ceremony. At the climax of the ritual at which wine is shared, the athame is often plunged into the chalice of wine (symbolic of the sex act). Although occasional pieces of art show figures identified as Pagans or Witches holding a knife, knives were conspicuous by their absence in European Witchcraft texts. They appear to be one of the several elements introduced by Gerald B. Gardner (1884-1964), who was largely responsible for creating modern Neo-Pagan Witchcraft. Gardner had spent most of his life as a British civil servant in Asia. While in Malaysia, he became familiar with the local ritual weapon known as the kris. This wavy dagger was a well-known object, but almost nothing had been written about its use and significance. He learned of the kris majapahit, the magical instrument that was reputed to work wonders. It was believed to be possessed of a hantu, a spirit. Owning such a weapon was said to bring good fortune, providing protection for those fortunate enough to have one. Gardner's work on the kris is still the standard reference source. By the time Gardner returned to England in the 1930s, he had hopes of creating a new magical religion built around the worship of a female deity. He drew from a multitude of sources, but added the ritual knife from his knowledge of the kris. The athame is one of the most distinctive contributions of Gardner to modern magical practice.
Athanor: [F., fr. Ar. at-tannur, fr. Heb. tannur an oven or furnace.] 1). A digesting furnace, formerly used by alchemists. It was so constructed as to maintain uniform and durable heat. 2). According to Philostratus in his Life of Apollonius, Athanor is an occult hill surrounded by mist except on the southern side, which is clear. It has a well, which is four paces in breadth, from which an azure vapor ascends, which is drawn up by the warm sun. The bottom of the well is covered with red arsenic. Near it is a basin filled with fire from which rises a livid flame, odorless and smokeless, and never higher or lower than the edge of the basin. Also there are two black stone reservoirs, in one of which the wind is kept, and in the other the rain. In extreme drought the rain cistern is opened and clouds escape, which water the whole country. This description should be interpreted as alchemical symbolism, since the Athanor was also the furnace supplying heat for the alchemical process. The term Athanor is also employed to denote moral and philosophical alchemy.
Atlantis: [Greek Mythology] A mythical island continent said to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean in ancient times and was swallowed by the ocean in an earthquake. The earliest mention of Atlantis is found in Plato's two dialogues Timaeus and Critias, from which it emerged as a topic of fascination and speculation over the centuries. It entered occult perspectives through the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, cofounder of the Theosophical Society, in the nineteenth century and has been a topic of popular speculation in the twentieth century. For many, Atlantis has replaced the biblical Garden of Eden as a mythical original home for the human race. For Plato, Atlantis was a useful myth for conveying several lessons he wanted to make about government and the nature of city-states. In the twentieth century it has been integrated into a myth about overreliance on technology as opposed to personal spiritual and psychic awareness. Plato described Atlantis as a large land located beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. It was a powerful land able to conquer much of the Mediterranean basin, but at the height of its power it was destroyed by geologic forces. Plato supposedly learned of Atlantis as a result of the Athenian lawgiver Solon, who had brought the story to Greece from Egypt several centuries earlier. Over time the Atlantis myth grew in proporition, so that by the Middle Ages, Atlantis had been transformed into a massive mid-Atlantic continent. Eventually it became one of the destinations visited by explorers in the European fantastic voyage literature, the most prominent being Captain Nemo in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870). Interest in Atlantis was revived in 1882 with the publication of Ignatius Donnelly's Atlantis, the Antediluvian World. He argued that Atlantis was the lost origin point of humanity, the place where the race moved out of barbarism to a civilized state. For Donnelly, Atlantis explained many of the prominent similarities between the culture of Egypt and that of Latin America. He believed that the worldwide myth of the flood was really the account of Atlantis's demise. Blavatsky adopted Donnelly's ideas and integrated Atlantis into the theosophical story of the evolution of the human race. She hypothesized the evolution of humanity through a series of "root races." Lemuria, the Pacific equivalent of Atlantis, was the home of the third root race; Atlantis, of the fourth root race. Earth is currently populated by the fifth root race. Blavatsky's ideas were expanded by such Theosophists as Charles W. Leadbeater, W. Scott Elliott, and Rudolf Steiner. In the 1920s the subject of Atlantis was taken up by Scottish journalist and anthropologist Lewis Spence, who eventually wrote four books on the subject, beginning with The Problem of Atlantis (1924). He passed along speculations to psychic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), who frequently spoke of Atlantis, primarily as he described the past lives of his clients. Many were seen as people who had escaped to such places as Egypt or Peru following the destruction of the continent. Cayce pictured Atlantis as a land of high technological achievement, even by twentieth-century standards. Atlanteans understood universal forces and had learned to fly, had central heating, sonar, and television. Central to Atlantean technologies was a firestone, a large crystal that collected energy from the stars and then gave off energy to power the technology of the land. The misuse of the crystal's power led to the destruction of Atlantis. The Association for Research and Enlightenment, an organization formed to promote and perpetuate Cayce's work, gathered his comments about Atlantis and published them in two books, Atlantis: Fact or Fiction (1962) and Edgar Cayce on Atlantis (1968), which called attention to a Cayce prediction that a remnant of Atlantis would emerge at the end of the 1960s near the island of Bimini. No such emergence occurred, but a number of Cayce's believers travel to the area in search of underground remnants of the continent. Amid the numerous speculations about the location of the lost continent, one seems to have emerged as the most likely. In 1969 Greek archaeologist Angelo Galanopoulos released data he had collected on the island of Thera. Galanopoulos had discovered an ancient Minoan city, buried in layers of volcanic ash. It was the center of a once-powerful city-state that was wiped out suddenly by the volcano. With the exception of its location in the Mediterranean rather than outside the Straits of Gibraltar, it fits most precisely the several descriptions of Atlantis reported by Plato. From Cayce the idea of Atlantis was picked up in the New Age movement. In 1982, Frank Alper, a channel from Arizona, issued an important channeled work, Exploring Atlantis, in which he picked up the account in Cayce's writings about the crystal on Atlantis. The three-volume work, which purports a crystal-based culture on the lost continent, became the basis of the faddish use of crystals by New Agers in the 1980s. In particular, Alper describes in some detail the techniques of crystal healing.
Atman: (Sanskrit: "breath" or "self") Basic concept in Hindu philosophy, describing that eternal core of the personality that survives death and transmigrates to a new life or is released from the bonds of existence. Atman became a central philosophical concept in the Upanishads. It underlies all aspects of personality, as Brahman underlies the working of the universe. The schools of Samkhya, Yoga, and Vedanta are particularly concerned with atman. See also soul. Usually translated "Soul" but better rendered "Self." In the Hindu religion, Atman means the union of the collective human soul with God (Brahma), eventually merged in the absolute totality of Brahman. It is believed that the soul is neither body nor mind, nor even thought, but that these are merely conditions by which the soul is clouded so that it loses its sense of oneness with God. In the Upanishads it is said, "The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of the creature" and "In the beginning there was Self."
Atziluth: (Also: Atzilut) [From Hebrew "Olam Atzilut", ???? ??????, literally "World of Emanation") The highest of four worlds in which exists the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Beri'ah follows it. It is known as the World of Emanations, or the World of Causes. In the Kabbalah, each of the Sephiroth in this world is associated with a Name of God, and it is associated with the Suite of Wands in the Tarot.
Augury: n : an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; an omen or sign that something is coming; "he hoped it was an augury"; "it was a sign from God". It also means a prediction, prognostication and indication of the future. For example "the man had an augury of his future greatness". As a verb augury is an art or practice of divination. It can be the art or practice of foretelling events by observing the actions of birds etc.; as mentioned above a practice sometimes known as divination.
Aura: Multicolored luminescence that radiates from all objects, generally living things. People who suffer migraine headaches and epilepsy often report seeing a halo around living people. However, W. E. Butler was one of the first to assign seeing auras to clairvoyant facilities. He believed that the colors that appear to hover around people are a direct indication of their physical and emotional well being. A field of subtle, multicolored, luminous radiations said to surround living bodies as a halo or cocoon; the term is occasionally used to refer to the normal electromagnetic field forces surrounding the body. [Latin, from the Greek, “breath of air”]
Austromancy: A form of divination through aerial phenomena, such as thunder and lightning, and a branch of aeromancy. Austromancy is concerned with the observance and interpretation of winds, and the significance being attached to their direction and intensity.
Autoscope: Term used by Sir William Barrett in his work "On The Threshold of the Unseen (1917) to denote any mechanical means whereby communication from the unknown may reach us.The unknown may be an extraneous mind, living or dead, or the subconscious. An instrument that facilitates undetectable automatism of the wrist to facilitate clearer movements. The most popular autoscope is the planchette, an object used on the modern-day Spirit board. (“Ouija Board” is a name for a brand of “Spirit Board“). The planchette, the spirit board and the divining rod are typical autoscopes.
Autoscopy: is associated with looking back at ones own body from a vantage point or position outside of the physical body. It associated with astral projection, as in the “out of body experience” which occurs when the astral body leaves the physical body and goes on a tour of the physical plane. Autoscopy is also associated with seeing one's double or duplicate of one's own body.
Autosuggestion: Influence on the senses by belief and expectation.
Automatic Drawing: Automatism that creates drawings that are allegedly influenced by the deceased.
Automatic Painting: Automatism that creates paintings that are allegedly influenced by the deceased.
Automatic Speech: Also called spirit messages; automatism in the form of speech that is allegedly influenced by the deceased.
Automatic Typing: Automatism that creates messages through a typewriter or computer keyboard.
Automatic Writing: Also called psychography; automatism that creates written messages that is allegedly influenced by the deceased. The phenomena in which people write or draw without conscious thought.
1). Direct Psychography: Communication written on paper.
2). Mechanical Psychography: Messages received with unconscious control of practitioner’s hand, while the practitioner’s attention is elsewhere.
3). Semi-mechanical Psychography: Messages received with conscious control of practitioner’s hand, allowing them to stop communication at any time, turn pages, etc.
Indirect Psychography: The use of an Ouija board to receive so-called spirit messages.
Inspirational Psychography: Messages that are written down when someone feels inspired while in contact with a spirit.
Automatism: Uncontrolled muscular twitches all over the body that many Spiritualists attribute to the inspiration of spiritual entities. A process in which the subconscious communicates with the conscious by means of a vehicle such as a Spirit Board, automatic writing, or pendulum swinging.
Autophany: Also called heautoscopy: seeing your double.
Autoscopy: An experience where someone who is having an out-of-body experience sees his or her physical body.
Av: Fifth month of the Jewish religious Calendar; 11th month of the Hebrew civil year counting from Tishri. It is a month of 30 days and normally coincides with July-August; Leo the Lion is its sign of the Zodiac. Despite numerous references to "the fifth month," there is no specific mention of Av in the Bible; it is often mentioned, however, in rabbinic sources. In Second Temple times, a minor festival was celebrated on 15 Av (see Av, Fieteenth of) and the month had joyful associations. Eventually, however, it was overshadowed by gloom because of the Tishah Be-Av (i.e., Ninth of Av) fast day commemorating the destruction of the First Temple's by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the destruction of the Second Temple's by the Romans in 70 CE. This date also became linked with many other calamities in Jewish history.Semitic magical month. Crossing a river on the twentieth of that month was supposed to bring sickness. Ancient texts state that if a man should eat the flesh of swine on the thirtieth day of Av, he will be plagued with boils. Av is also an ancient Egyptian term for the heart. Since the heart was the seat of the conscience, its preservation was a crucial part of the mummification process.
Avalon: [cf. OW aballon, ‘apple’] The Elysium of the Arthurian legends where King Arthur and other heroes went on their death, usually thought to lie on the western seas but sometimes identified with Glastonbury. The English word derives from the Latin of Geoffrey of Monmouth (12th cent.), Insula Avallonis, ‘Isle of Apples’. In Welsh it is still known as Ynys Afallach, ‘Isle of Apples’. Cf. Emain Ablach [Irish, fortress of apples], the true home of Manannán mac Lir. In the Arthurian romance by Layamon (12th cent.) Argante is the queen of Avalon. Geoffrey of Monmouth notes briefly in his History that King Arthur ‘was carried to the Island of Avalon for the healing of his wounds’; in a later work, The Life of Merlin, he elaborates upon this, saying Avalon is ruled by nine sisters, the eldest and wisest being Morgan. It is an earthly paradise, also called The Island of Apples or the Fortunate Isle, where crops grow untended, ‘apple trees spring up from the short grass of its woods’, and men live for a hundred years or more. Geoffrey obviously associated its name with Welsh afellenau= ‘apple trees’, and with classical descriptions of the Fortunate Islands. Others, however, identified it with Glastonbury. The enchanted island of Arthurian legend. This terrestrial paradise was known in Welsh mythology as Ynys Avallach (Isle of Apples) or possibly related to the Celtic king of the dead named Avalloc or Afallach. In Geofrey of Manmouth's twelfth-century chronicle of King Arthur,Historia Regum Britanniae, it was noted that Arthur's sword was forged in Avalon, and he was returned to Avalon after his last battle so his wounds could heal. In 1191 the monks at Glastonbury announced that it was identical to Avalon and that they had discovered Arthur's burial site. As evidence they produced a cross bearing Arthur's name and the place's name, Avalonia, which had been found alongside an exhumed body. Today, replicas of the cross are sold at Glastonbury Abbey.
Avatar: (From the Sanskrit avatāraḥ, descent [of a deity from heaven], avatar : ava, down + tarati, he crosses). 1). The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form. 2). An embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype: the very avatar of cunning. 3). A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity: occultism in its present avatar. 4). incarnations of Hindu gods, especially Vishnu. The doctrine of avatara first occurs in the Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna declares: "For the preservation of the righteous, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of dharma [virtue], I come into being from age to age." Vishnu is believed to have taken nine avatara, in both animal and human form, with a tenth yet to come. The avatara of Shiva are imitations of those of Vishnu.The idea of the avatar or avatāra is central to Hindu mythology especially to the concept of the god "Vishnu". An avatar is the earthly form assumed by a deity. Avatar is also a term used in Hindu religion to indicate the incarnation of a deity. Avatara is one of the Hindu gods who has taken on animal or human form in different ages for the welfare of the world. In Hindu mythology, the god Brahma (originally known as the creator Prajapati) became successively incarnated as a boar, a tortoise, and a fish, to assist the development of the world in prehistory. Certain Hindu scriptures ascribe these incarnations to the god Vishnu (the preserver), but since the manifestation of divine power takes many different forms in Hindu mythology, the distinction is academic. Various scriptures ascribe to Vishnu ten major incarnations: (1) Matsya (the fish), associated with legends of a great deluge in which Manu, progenitor of the human race, was saved from destruction; (2) Kurma (the tortoise), whose back supported great mountains while the gods and demons churned the ocean to retrieve divine objects and entities lost in the deluge; (3) Vahura (the boar), who raised up the earth from the seas; (4) Nara-sinha (the man-lion), who delivered the world from the tyranny of a demon; (5) Vamana (the dwarf), who recovered areas of the universe from demons; (6) Parasu-rama (Rama with the axe), who delivered Brahmins from dominion by the warrior caste during the second age of the world; (7) Rama, hero of the religious epic Ramayana, who opposed the demon Ravana; (8) Krishna popular incarnation chronicled in the religious epic Mahabharata (especially in theBhagavad-Gita section) and Srimad Bhagavatam; (9) Buddha, the great religious teacher; and (10) Kalki, an incarnation yet to come, who is prophesied to appear on a white horse with a sword blazing like a comet, to destroy the wicked, stabilize creation and restore purity to the world. In other religious works, as many as 22 incarnations are listed, including various great saints and sages. According to Hindu belief, a perfected human soul has no further karma (action and reaction) and is absorbed into divinity at death, but may elect to be incarnated for the good of the world. The deity Shri Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gita (4:7-8) specifically promises: "Arjuna, whenever there is decline of dharma (righteous duty), and unrighteousness is dominant, then I am reborn. For the protection of the virtuous, the destruction of evil-doers, and to reestablish righteousness, I am reborn from age to age." Belief in repeated divine reincarnations of the deities for the good of the world, as distinct from one unique Messianic event, is one of the major theological differences between Hinduism and Western religions such as Judaism and Christianity.
Avebury: One of the most spectacular of the ancient megalithic monuments in the British Isles, far surpassing in size the more well-known Stonehenge. Like Stonehenge, it is located in Wiltshire. Enough of the monument has survived that a picture of what it looked like when it was completed can be reconstructed. The large ritual area is surrounded by a circular earth embankment some 1200 feet in diameter. Immediately inside of the embankment is a ditch, and on the inner edge of the ditch there once stood a circle of some 100 stones; a number of which once formed the western half of the circle remain in place. Inside the large circle were two inner circles, both of approximately 340 feet in diameter. In the center of the circle to the north is a cove, but its purpose is unknown. There was a single stone, surrounded by a rectangle of smaller stones, in the center of the southern circle. All of the stones appeared unfinished and were gathered from the surrounding countryside. Similar stones lie scattered on the landscape of the region to this day. Avebury has been inhabited since late Neolithic times. Then, around 2600 B.C.E., the southernmost inner circle was erected, and it appears to have been used for a variety of ritual purposes. The northernmost inner circle was erected soon afterwards. It was quite different in that it had a double ring of stones. It has been suggested that it was possibly used for funeral rites. Next, a ditch was dug around the entire site and the earth taken from the excavation was used to form the rampartlike outer circle. A double line of stones, generally called West Kennet Avenue, led from Avebury to the south toward an associated monument about a mile away. There were at one time as many as 200 hundred stones along the avenue, but less than 20 remain today. Avebury probably was completed around 2000 B.C.E. and utilized for more than a millennium. As the megaliths in Britain have been studied, Avebury has been placed in the larger context of sites scattered across the land. It has been studied in light of the alignments its stones might offer to various prominent planetary bodies. Alexander Thom, who pioneered such study, did very accurate measures of the remaining stones, and has suggested they demonstrate a quite sophisticated knowledge of the Moon's movements. Others have noted that so many stones are missing that determining alignments is quite difficult if not impossible. The circles were probably places in which a large number of the people in the surrounding countryside gathered, but their essential functions remain a matter of widespread speculation.
Avenar: A fifteenth-century astrologer who promised the Jews, on the testimony of the planets, that their Messiah should arrive without fail in 1444, or at the latest, in 1464. He gave, for his guarantors, Saturn, Jupiter, "the crab, and the fish." The Jews were said to have kept their windows open to receive the messenger of God who did not arrive.
Avichi: A theosophical concept of hell, deriving from the Sanskrit word for "isolation." Although it is a place of torment, it differs in great degree from the dominant conception of hell. Its torments are the torments of fleshly cravings, which for want of a physical body cannot be satisfied. People remain after death exactly the same entity as before, and, if in life an individual has been obsessed with strong desires or passions, such obsession still continues, though in the astral plane the satisfaction of these desires or passions is impossible. These torments are of infinite scope, whether it be the confirmed sensualist who suffers them, or more ordinary people who, without being bound to the things of the flesh, have nevertheless allowed the affairs of the world to loom too largely in their lives and are now doomed to regret the small attention they have given to higher matters. Avichi is a place of regrets for things done and things un-done. Its torments are not, however, eternal, and with the passing of time—of which there is no measure in the astral plane— they are gradually discontinued at the cost of terrible suffering.
Avidya: (Sanskrit; Pali, avijja) A Hindu religious term also used in Theosophy to denote the ignorance of mind about the workings of karma, the Four Noble Truths, and the Three Jewels (triratna). Avidya is the root cause of continued involvement in sa?sara and the experience of suffering by which one remains confused about the true nature of reality. Avidya also causes those commencing the spiritual pathway to expend effort in vain. It is the antithesis of Vidya, or true knowledge.
Axinomancy: Divination by means of a hatchet or a woodcutter's axe. Diviners predicted the ruin of Jerusalem with axinomancy (Psalm 74). Francois de la Tour-Blanche, who remarked upon this, does not tell us how the diviners made use of the hatchet, but it may have been related to one of the two methods employed in ancient times and lately practiced in certain northern countries. The first is as follows: To find a treasure, find a round agate, heat the head of the axe until red hot in the fire, and place it so that its edge stands perpendicularly in the air. Place the agate on the edge. If it remains there, there is no treasure; if it falls, it will roll quickly away. It must, however, be replaced three times, and if it rolls three times toward the same place, there the treasure will be found. If it rolls a different way each time, one must seek about for the treasure. The second method of divination by the axe is for the purpose of detecting robbers. The hatchet is cast on the ground, head downward, with the handle rising perpendicularly in the air. Those present must dance around it in a ring until the handle of the axe totters and it falls to the ground. The end of the handle indicates the direction in which the thieves must be sought. It is said by some that if this divination is to succeed, the head of the axe must be stuck in a round pot.
Ayahuasca: n. [American Spanish, from Quechua, rope of the dead, narcotic : aya, corpse + huasca, rope.] A hallucinogenic brew made from the bark and stems of a tropical South American vine of the genus Banisteriopsis, especially B. caapi, mixed with other psychotropic plants, used especially in shamanistic rituals. Ayahuasca, the hallucinogenic drug favored by many traditional peoples of South America, has in the twentieth century become the center of a major new religious movement in Brazil and began to spread among neo-shamanistic groups in North America and Europe in the 1990s. Ayahuasca (or vine of the dead) is also known as yage (Colombia) and caapi (Brazil). It is prepared from the vine Banisteriopsis Caapi by boiling vine segments with various other plants. The resulting drink contains several hallucinogenics including harmine and/or N, N-dimethyltryptamine. Archeological evidence, including mythology and pre-Columbian rock drawings, strongly suggest that ayahuasca has been used for centuries. It first became known in the outside world through the account published in 1858 by Manuel Villavicencio, who described his own experiences from its use. The notes of Richard Spruce, a British explorer who traveled in the upper reaches of the Amazon in the 1850s, were published in 1908 and subsequent accounts appeared through the twentieth century. These were buried in professional journals until the 1960s when ayahuasca was rediscovered in the context of the wave of interest in LSD and other hallucinogenics throughout the West. In 1968, Michael Harner wrote a pioneering paper, "The Sound of Rushing Water," describing his experience after taking the drug in 1961 while doing field work in Ecuador. A variety of people during the hippie era sampled ayahuasca but it never gained the popularity of LSD, peyote, or other more easily obtained psychedelic drugs. Among the indigenous peoples of South America, ayahuasca is a healing substance. It is gathered, prepared, and used with proper ceremony and reverence. In the Upper Amazon, Banisteriopsis Caapi is mixed with another plant, Psychotria viridis, and boiled for a full day and then stored until needed for a ceremony. It is believed that in using the drug, the individual is connected to the force that interconnects all things. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Raimundo Irineu Serra had an apparition of the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Conceiçao. During the vision, she began to teach him new doctrine. He was under the influence of ayahuasca at the time. From this experience he began to construct what became a new religion, Santo Daime, the Religion of the Rainforest. That religion grew slowly, but in the decades since World War II (1939-45) has spread across Brazil and in recent decades has spread to North America and Europe as Brazilian members have migrated. The appearance of ayahuasca as a sacramental substance by an ethnic religious community has presented legal problems. At the beginning of 2000, members were arrested in Spain, and the movement has begun an effort to have the drug legalized in the United States and several countries of western Europe. As of the beginning of 2000, the legal situation of ayahuasca consumption is ambiguous. In the United States, for example, the plants from which ayahuasca is made are not illegal; however, some of the substances they contain are. Ayahuasca is not listed as a controlled substance, but N, N-dimethyltryptamine is a controlled substance and illegal. European drug control agencies have demonstrated much more interest in controlling the spread of ayahuasca than has the America Drug Enforcement Agency.
Ayakashi: (Japanese folklore) A type of ghost that appears at sea during a shipwreck.
Ayperor: A count of the infernal empire.
Azael: One of the angels who revolted against God. The ancient rabbis stated that he is chained on sharp stones in an obscure part of the desert, awaiting the last judgment.
Azazel: Place in the wilderness to which one of the two he-goats was sent by the High Priest, as part of the Day of Atonement service in the Temple in Jerusalem. This goat was to carry "all the sins" of Israel with it (Lev. 16:22) hence the concept of "scapegoat." Preceding this action, the High Priest drew lots over two he-goats, assigning one goat to be sacrificed and the other to be sent away "to Azazel" in the wilderness to be killed (v. 8). The derivation of the word is not completely clear; the Talmud suggests that AzazeI was a craggy cliff, over which the goat was thrown to its death in the wilderness (Yoma 67b). The ancient rabbis, interpreting "Azazel" as Azaz ("rugged"), and el ("strong"), refer it to the rugged and rough mountain cliff from which the scapegoat was cast down on Yom Kippur when the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem stood.According to the sages of the Talmud, the law of the azazel is included in the category of h?ukim, namely those laws which man's intellect cannot understand. In the kabbalistic and midrashic literature, Azazel is considered to be a composite name for two fallen angels, Uza and Azael, who had come down to earth at the time of Tubal Cain and had become corrupted in their ways. Some commentators, medieval and modern, have suggested that Azazel was the name of a desert demon of the second order, guardian of the goat. At the feast of expiation, which the ancient Jews celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month, two goats were led to the high priest, who drew lots for them, the one for the Lord, the other for Azazel. The one on which the lot of the Lord fell was sacrificed, and his blood served for expiation. The high priest then put his two hands on the head of the other, confessed his sins and those of the people, charged the animal with them, and allowed him to be led into the desert and set free. And the people, having left the care of their iniquities to the goat of Azazel—also known as the scapegoat—return home with clean consciences. According to Milton, Azazel is the principal standard bearer of the infernal armies. It was also the name of the demon used by Mark the heretic for his magic spells. In modern Hebrew slang "go to Azazel" is the equivalent of the English "go to hell."
Azer: An angel of the elemental fire. According to some accounts, Azer is also the name of the father of Zoroaster, legendary author of the Zend-Avesta, the sacred work of the ancient Persians.
Azoth: n. [Middle English azoc, from Old French, from Arabic az-za'uq, the mercury : al-, the + za'uq, mercury (from Syriac ziwag , of Iranian origin)] Name given by ancient alchemists to Mercury, also known as Astral Quintessence, Flying Salve, Animated Spirit, Ethelia, and Auraric. Mercury was also considered in alchemy to be the primary source of all metals. The term also implied the essential element of the transmutation process.